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I’ve been in an IOP group for my eating disorder for about a month now. My dietitian, who runs the nutrition group and is my individual provider, has made a couple of suspect comments previously (“menstruating people” “men and women and people who are non-binary” etc.), but today really took the cake.

We’ve been talking about diet culture this week, and somehow she’s managed to discuss the expectation of people to be thin, how health studies are done on one group of people and applied to others who have different health needs, and how society is so focused in people’s bodies as a measure of their worth, without once mentioning women specifically.

Today, however, she made a point to bring up transphobia.

When we were talking about the societal idea that you can make judgments about a person’s health just by looking at their body, she decides it’s a great time to explain how this is especially a bad thing for trans people, because something something we can’t know they’re in bad health just because they’re taking hormones.

I’m so angry. I’ve been biting my tongue with some of my rad fem takes because I don’t want to bring politics into therapy but holy cult indoctrination batman. None of us in this group are even trans identifying!

So instead of dealing with it assertively, telling her that actually cross-sex hormones ARE incredibly bad for your health, or even aggressively—how can you possibly be so fucking blind to not realize that body dysmorphia is body dysmorphia whether it’s trans or ED??—I just sat there quietly and stewed, until the end of group when I spewed out that we need to be talking about women and inarticulately and passive-aggressively expressed my anger about the female erasure perpetuated by the group leader.

After group I was somehow able to communicate to another facilitator that the problem was her coworker, so I’ll getting a new dietitian for individual at least. Maybe next time she mentions something stupid in group I’ll have the courage to correct her.

How do you deal with TRAs as mental healthcare providers?

I’ve been in an IOP group for my eating disorder for about a month now. My dietitian, who runs the nutrition group and is my individual provider, has made a couple of suspect comments previously (“menstruating people” “men and women and people who are non-binary” etc.), but today really took the cake. We’ve been talking about diet culture this week, and somehow she’s managed to discuss the expectation of people to be thin, how health studies are done on one group of people and applied to others who have different health needs, and how society is so focused in people’s bodies as a measure of their worth, without once mentioning women specifically. Today, however, she made a point to bring up transphobia. When we were talking about the societal idea that you can make judgments about a person’s health just by looking at their body, she decides it’s a great time to explain how this is especially a bad thing for trans people, because something something we can’t know they’re in bad health just because they’re taking hormones. I’m so angry. I’ve been biting my tongue with some of my rad fem takes because I don’t want to bring politics into therapy but holy cult indoctrination batman. None of us in this group are even trans identifying! So instead of dealing with it assertively, telling her that actually cross-sex hormones ARE incredibly bad for your health, or even aggressively—how can you possibly be so fucking blind to not realize that body dysmorphia is body dysmorphia whether it’s trans or ED??—I just sat there quietly and stewed, until the end of group when I spewed out that we need to be talking about women and inarticulately and passive-aggressively expressed my anger about the female erasure perpetuated by the group leader. After group I was somehow able to communicate to another facilitator that the problem was her coworker, so I’ll getting a new dietitian for individual at least. Maybe next time she mentions something stupid in group I’ll have the courage to correct her. How do you deal with TRAs as mental healthcare providers?

8 comments

Trans rights activism in incompatible with mental health care of any sort, in my opinion. This is because, as you describe, the issues at hand – the reasons people are there seeking help – become wallpaper to the TrueAgenda™️ of spamming every facet of society with trans bullshit. Center trans, everywhere, all the time and spread transevangelism at every opportunity.

I've avoided mental healthcare providers because of my perception that all of them are on the trans train. The problems I need help with stem directly from people attempting to coercively control how I think and act in a way that benefited their ideology and how they wanted to use me, so it would be entirely counterproductive to pay someone to continue to abuse me in the same way.

I've got a good therapist who hasn't asked me for my pronouns, I talked about how I was against the so called trans rights and she just said "that's fine, you're entitled to your beliefs" then encouraged me to look at women's rights organizations to volunteer at. There are good mental health providers that haven't drank the gender kool-aid.

I can't say, the only time a health worker asked for my pronouns I responded with "what you call a woman".

If I was put in your shoes I would have (well this is easy for me to say as I might act differently if I was there lol) just walked out. But yeah, you made a good call to report her and look for another dietician. She sounds medically irresponsible, doesn't understand basic hormone functions and randomly brings up trans, which is creepy.

You didn't handle it poorly, there wasn't much you could have done realistically.

Is there any possibility of finding another therapy group? Even if you were a TRA yourself, this just isn't helpful for your recovery because it's not focusing on the patient demographic that makes up the majority of ED patients and, I'd assume, the majority of your group. It's plumb dehumanising and she doesn't understand hormones or sex-based pressures.

Maybe the next time this happens you could call her out on it and leave in a blaze of glory. If there are other groups you can go to. Could talk to your primary care physician about a potential referral to another one?

Don’t berate yourself. We, as women, often feel we need to be perfect and refined and mild. It’s ok to be angry and to have real human emotions. You were in a vulnerable space talking about eating disorder issues which are quite complex. Being expected to take in TRA abusive rhetoric is too much. You should have been the focus, not trans issues.

Now you know what to expect maybe have a few prepared responses. I have talked to my psychologist about how I feel about men saying they are women and how abusive this is. I grew up with severe abuse from men and from a immigrant culture where women were demeaned and I was treated like I was nothing. If you are in therapy you should be allowed to talk about your own complex feelings about men and society. Eating issues are often around having no voice and feeling you have no value. This therapist is harming women by pushing TRA abuse.

I think you handled it really well, especially given the circumstances. They just expect people to go along with this stuff, and hope that no one will stop them and state the obvious.

I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all of this though, and I wish you all the best in your recovery.

my home therapist is significantly older than my school therapist, but even at our first session, I told my school counselor exactly how I've been feeling and opened up abt how I've been worried that she will fire me as a client or patient or whatever because of it. I dont think she will. I think I'll introduce a lot of thoughts to her incidentally